Midwifery Today Issue Number 94 (Summer 2010) Birth Is a Human Rights Issue|
International Midwifery, Back Issues
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Theme: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue
Whether it’s questioning the overblown use of synthetic oxytocin, challenging the accepted view that planned hospital births are safer than planned homebirths, or exposing the disparity between rich and poor nations in terms of maternal and infant mortality rates, this issue tackles the idea that every Motherbaby has the right to be treated with reverence and respect during the birth process.
- A Hidden Tragedy: Birth as a Human Rights Issue in Developing Countries, by Vicki Penwell. Author Vicki Penwell delves into one of the world’s greatest injustices: While a mother dies during childbirth every minute of every day, only 1% of these deaths occur in the developed world.
- The Issue of Birth Rights, by Sister MorningStar. Humans are instinctual creatures, writes Sister MorningStar in this potent essay on the issue of birth rights. “Disturbed, the bodily functions of an instinctual animal will stop,” MorningStar writes. “Humans deserve the right to birth in their natural environment where they feel safe and with their own ‘kind.’”
- The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative: A Human Rights Approach to Optimal Maternity Care, by Robbie Davis-Floyd, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Rae Davies and Rodolfo Gomez Ponce de Leon. This article outlines the 10 steps developed, by the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative to help ensure that women everywhere are guaranteed the basic human right of humane and evidence-based maternity care.
- Newborn Group B Strep: Top 10 Reasons Not to Culture at 36 Weeks, by Judy Slome Cohain. In a smart twist of logic, author Judy Slome Cohain tells us why there’s no need to culture for newborn GBS at 36 weeks. Reason No. 2? Studies have shown that GBS cultures are not reliable for even 24 hours.
- A Matter of Maternal Malnutrition? Explaining Stillbirth/Neonatal Death Rates in Developing Nations, by Lisa Fehr. This article investigates potential reasons for the staggering stillbirth/neonatal death rates in developing countries and suggests maternal malnutrition may be to blame.
- From Hospital to Home, by Lisa Landen Thompson. Having learned from her “traditional American hospital birth,” a mother plans an at-home waterbirth and finds a midwife who makes her feel “important, respected and cared for.”
- If I Were the Baby—Questioning the Widespread Use of Synthetic Oxytocin, by Michel Odent. Birth expert Michel Odent explores the scientific data collected on the most common intervention in childbirth—the use of synthetic oxytocin to start labor—and concludes that doctors “would be wise to make labor induction an exceptionally rare practice.”
- The “Miracle” of Induction, by Alicia Kaye. After watching her mother grapple through a Pitocin/Cytotec induced birth, the author starts her quest to find a better, more natural, way of birthing.
- Dear Rose, by Gloria Lemay. In this simple yet touching tale, midwife Gloria Lemay remembers a birth she attended, by penning a letter to the baby, Rose, who is now a full-grown young woman.
- The Dangers of Planned Hospital Births, by Judy Slome Cohain. Midwife and researcher Judy Slome Cohain dissects currently available published research and finds that hospital birth is never safer than a planned, attended homebirth for low-risk women.
- An Afternoon with Marsden, by Sheryl Rivett. An intimate portrait of a legend in the birth field, Dr. Marsden Wagner.
- Learning to Listen, by Sandra Stine Tallbear. Women are being undermined in subtle, yet important ways inside the typical American labor and delivery ward, concludes certified nurse-midwife Sandra Stine Tallbear in this succinct essay about learning to truly listen to a mother’s needs.
- Reclaiming Every Woman’s Birth Right, by Sarah Buckley. Reprinted from Dr. Sarah Buckley’s new book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, this article calls for a rethinking of birth—from seeing birth as a medical procedure to viewing it as a powerful, central facet of family life.
- Facing Fears, Embracing Birth, by Teresa Field. A labor and delivery nurse who has delivered four children at the hospital, finds herself with a whole new perspective on birth after facing her fears and birthing her fifth child at home.
- Breaking the Law: Midwives and Civil Disobedience, by Sarah Jean Carter. A brief history of midwives who have resisted unjust laws and continued to practice their craft, despite the threat of persecution.
- Brewer Babies, by Marlene Waechter. Confounded, by a client who has already birthed several handicapped children, midwife Marlene Waechter utilizes the wisdom of Dr. Tom Brewer and finds that diet really does make a drastic difference to pregnant mamas and their babies.
- Brazilian Love Rebels: Bringing Awareness and Consciousness to a Birth-broken Nation, by Ana Paula Markel. Native Brazilian author Ana Paula Markel attends a birth conference in Brazil and finds a group of “Brazilian love rebels” leading a social revolution that questions unnecessary medical interventions and embraces empowered birth.
View complete Table of Contents here.